In Mindfulness in 8 weeks in a Frantic World, authors’ Dr. Mark Williams (Cognitive Psychology Professor) and Dr. Danny Penman (Journalist) outline accessible practices for reducing stress and improving life satisfaction, drawing on the author’s meditation teachings to outline effective therapeutic exercises that can be performed in 10 to 20 minutes each day. (Half Price) Coupled with meditative activities and peaceful exploration, the book and its plan allows the reader to evaluate or reevaluate themselves and their situation. It touches on things such as trauma, failures and rejections, peace, false positivity. The book allows the reader to be and feel in control of their “healing”
Mindfulness has two levels, according to Williams and Penman:
It encourages us to become more patient and compassionate with ourselves and to cultivate open-mindness and gentle persistence
It encourages you to break some of the unconscious habits of thinking and behaving that stop you from living your life
As someone who suffers from anxiety and depression and lives in two different worlds–fin gen American trying to fit in. I’ve always been skeptical of things like mindfulness and self-help books. I understood the need but I skeptical and maybe a afraid of what I’d find out about myself.
I enjoyed taking this eight week journey with myself. I learned things about myself that I never knew. I also spoke with family, friends, and acquaintances about the book. I had a classmate who is an early child educator and they utilize mindfulness while teaching their third graders.
I started a little diary during these eight week (two excerpts).
What I liked about the book is how I was able to dig deep and understand myself. For example, there’s a exercise I did a while back called “Invisible Suitcase” ….what burdens/trauma/ or things you carry with you. At the end of the activity I realized that I had a fear of being left behind. I moved to the US at age four and I always feel like I have to overcompensate for arriving later. I work myself to exhaustion trying to reach this level of expectation, an invisible expectation. The book and activities make you thing and analyze, but still, helping you let go of what’s holding you back.
Although, helpful and intentional in its messaging of mindfulness and peace, I don’t know how well it would transfer in POC communities, theres also things I wish the book explored more about the effects of systemic or generational trauma. I wonder if the book is culturally competent (the ability to understand, communicate with and effectively interact with people across cultures.) in its teaching. Then again, its a 8 week activity, its an introduction, and its up to the reader or instructor to continue the work. Still, I wonder and hope that mindfulness practices are able to be modified for various communities and individuals. All in all, I enjoyed this book.
Rate: 3.5/5 (would recommend)